TABLE of CONTENTS September 2014

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Cover Story

Facing Climate Change, Cities Come to the Rescue

BY Daniel C. Vock

Lacking substantial state or federal support, local governments throughout the country are using natural disasters as a way to get their infrastructure, personnel and budgets better prepared for the next.


Cities Find New Ways to Go After Gun Violence

Widespread and comprehensive gun control legislation has failed at the federal and state levels. While cities don’t have the authority to ban guns, they’ve gotten creative trying to control them. BY J.B. Wogan

Jonathan Lippman: A Crusader for the Poor and Drug-Addicted

New York's top judge is the brain behind many ideas that have upended the court system nationwide including legal aid for the poor, drug courts and foreclosure protections. BY Liz Farmer

How Can States Fix Their Medicaid Programs?

All states will inevitably have to find ways to reform how they pay for Medicaid services. Right now, that way is looking like accountable care organizations. BY Chris Kardish

From Vacant to Vibrant: Cincinnati’s Urban Transformation

How a lot of money and a little luck brought one of the nation’s most dangerous neighborhoods back to life. BY Alan Greenblatt


Infrastructure & Environment

EPA Rules Could Breathe New Life into Cap and Trade

Cap and trade may be dead on Capitol Hill, but states could use it to meet new EPA targets for reducing power plants’ carbon emissions. BY J.B. Wogan

The Most Segregated and Polarized Place in America

Americans in general have become more partisan in recent years. But the Milwaukee schism is larger than in other places, and it’s getting bigger. BY Kevin Tidmarsh

Napster’s Sean Parker Wants You to Vote

With voter turnout at all-time lows in some places, the first president of Facebook is launching a tech startup to boost civic engagement. BY Kevin Tidmarsh
Public Safety & Justice

States Confront Past and Present Forced Sterilization

States -- including California, where female prisoners were involuntarily sterilized as late as 2013 -- are figuring out how to compensate the victims. BY Chris Kardish

The Evolution of State Legislatures Has Driven Some to Flee

As state legislatures' structures and salaries have changed, so have the type of people the political office attracts. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Potomac Chronicle

Are Governments Neglecting Planes and Trains?

Even though airports and public transportation systems are in need of upgrades, all anyone ever talks about is roads and bridges. BY Peter Harkness

5 Popular Ballot Themes This Election Year

While the final lineup of measures is still being sorted out, five broad themes are emerging. BY Louis Jacobson
Health & Human Services

With Innovation Waivers, States Can Go Their Own Way on Obamacare

States can eventually drop major portions of the health law if they plan to maintain the same level of coverage at the same cost to the federal government. BY Chris Kardish
Infrastructure & Environment

New Jersey Makes Energy Resiliency a Top Priority

After struggling to restore millions of people's power in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey has become the first state with a “green” bank focused on energy resilience. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Economic Engines

If Cities Want to Succeed, They Need to Focus on What Makes Them Distinct

Many municipalities struggle to identify their uniqueness and instead try to market themselves for having things that you can find anywhere. BY Aaron Renn
Urban Notebook

Why Don't More Cities Sell Air Rights?

Vertically inclined cities could make a lot of money allowing private developers to build high-rise apartments or business spaces above libraries, city halls and schools. BY Scott Beyer


Health & Human Services

Where Income Inequality Has Gotten Worse

Larger metro areas experience some of the highest income inequality, and since the Great Recession, it’s only gotten worse. On Thursday, fast-food workers in 100 cities protested for higher wages. BY Mike Maciag
Smart Management

The VA Isn't the Only Agency Mismanaging Waiting Lists

Many state and local agencies fail to properly oversee waiting lists for government programs. BY Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene
Better Government

Want More Crime with That Burger?

Good jobs are proven to reduce crime, yet much of the economy's recent growth is due to dead-end jobs with low wages and no benefits. BY Mark Funkhouser
Tech Talk

Coming Soon to a Government Near You: Cloud Computing

Can a model procurement agreement speed the adoption of cloud computing? BY Tod Newcombe
Public Money

Fracking's Financial Losers: Local Governments

Localities are forced to deal with much of the problems associated with fracking, while states and the federal government rake in all the revenue. BY Frank Shafroth
Infrastructure & Environment

The Original Rainmaker

In the early 1900s, Charles Mallory Hatfield was hired to cure California's drought. BY Elizabeth Daigneau